Charlotte Mason Principles – The Way of the Will

Charlotte Mason The Way of the Will

Charlotte Mason Principles – The Way of the Will

We may offer to children two guides to moral and intellectual self-management which we may call ‘the Way of the Will’ and ‘the Way of the Reason.’

Children should be taught to distinguish between ‘I want’ and ‘I will.’

Charlotte Mason principles are for all of us. Her question in The Way of the Will is – How can you tame the will!

 Character and Conduct

Charlotte makes the statement that our children’s education is more about their character than their conduct. Sometimes as mothers we can focus on our child’s behaviour, or conduct, and this can discourage us. But that is the small picture, the big picture is character. Are we working on their character, their nature? The immaturity of childhood can and does show up, but let us train their character, their personality.

Charlotte then talks about training a will—helping them to master it. So often humans follow the “path of least resistance” and they go with the flow rather than making a choice of the will.

The Will, we are told, is ‘the sole practical faculty of man…yet most men go through life without a single definite act of willing. Habit, convention, the customs of the world have done so much for us that we get up, dress, breakfast, follow our morning’s occupations, our later relaxations, without an act of choice. For this much at any rate we know about the will. Its function is to choose, to decide, and there seems to be no doubt that the greater becomes the effort of decision the weaker grows the general will. ‘

Training a child’s will is helped by exposing them to noble ideas through books and pictures of the lives of outstanding men and women. This will hopefully stimulate the will and a child learns to choose the” right”. She believes as we train their character we give an opportunity for the will to develop.

Charlotte Mason the way of the will

Thinking Right

She emphasises the importance of learning how to think not just critically to also think “right”, being guided by the righteousness of God.

I will finish with this excellent quote:

“It is well to know what it is we choose between. Things are only signs which represent ideas and several times a day we shall find two ideas presented to our minds and must make our choice upon right and reasonable grounds. We shall thus be on our guard against the weak allowance which we cause to do duty for choice and against such dishonest fallacies as, that it is our business to get the best that is to be had at the lowest price; and it is not only in matters of dress and ornament, household use and decoration, that we run after the cheapest and newest. We chase opinions and ideas with the same restlessness and uncertainty; any fad, any notion in the newspapers, we pick up with eagerness. Once again, the will is the man. The business of the will is to choose. There are many ways to get out of the task of choosing but it is always,––”Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” There are two services open to us all, the service of God, (including that of man) and the service of self. If our aim is just to get on, ‘to do ourselves well,’ to get all possible ease, luxury and pleasure out of our lives, we are serving self and for the service of self no act of will is required. Our appetites and desires are always at hand to spur us into the necessary exertions. But if we serve God and our neighbour, we have to be always on the watch to choose between the ideas that present themselves. What the spring is to the year, school days are to our life.

Professional Development Resource for Homeschool Teachers

Inspired by Charlotte Mason is for you the home educator. You as the teacher need professional development and this ebook will help you teach. It’s not about resources; it’s the reasons behind teaching the Charlotte Mason way.
Inspired by Charlotte Mason will familiarise you with Charlotte Mason the educator and her core beliefs so you can understand how to implement her ideas and make them suit your homeschool.

Inspired by charlotte mason

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  1. joyfulmum  July 5, 2010

    Thanks Michelle for this and all the other posts I am currently catching up on! You've done a lot of thinking about CM's words and thanks for all your thoughts you've penned for us on your blog. They've been very helpful!

  2. Renelle  June 22, 2010

    Hi Michelle, training of character is really important to us and wanting our child to choose to think and do 'right'because they are being guided by God is our desire. Thanks for encouraging this came just at the right time. CM has such a rich treasure of writings to be absorbed!


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